Landing in My Present – Lone Star Lit


Title: Landing in My Present

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Author: Mary Walker Clark

Genre: Aviation, Historical, WWII, Biography
Publisher: Hellgate Press

Synopsis: Mary Walker Clark barely knew her father. When he died, he left not only the obvious void every teen would experience, but took with him scores of Indiana Jones-style tales about flying the Hump, a treacherous series of US missions that transported supplies over the Himalayas to China during World War II.

It would take a chance interview with a pilot who had flown with her father in the war to launch a series of extraordinary journeysinto a shrouded past and halfway around the globe to India and Chinafor Clark to finally come to know the father whose absence had haunted her for decades.

Landing in My Present chronicles the adventures of a daughter who chose to pry open a painful past while enlarging her view of an adventurous father long thought lost.



My Thoughts

Landing in My Present by Mary Walker Clark got me hook, line, and sinker; and for someone who does not generally read biographies that is saying something. From the opening chapter, Mary Walker Clark drew me into her story and her journey to know her father better. I enjoyed the way she shared her journey; it was like a reading story full of learning, history, emotions, and some great life lessons. From finding old letters, listening to people who had known her dad, and traveling to where he had lived, Mary brought him to life before my eyes. I cannot even imagine how awesome and meaningful her adventure was for her and her family on a personal level.

“How do you broaden your relationship with someone who has been dead 50 years?”

This question stood out to me and was part of the challenge of Mary Walker Clark’s story. Can you truly know someone who died 50 years ago? Well, I think Mary Walker Clark got pretty darn close. From the start, Mary Walker Clark weaved in her childhood memories, historical details about the different planes her dad flew, personal letters from friends of her father… It made me feel like I was on the journey with her. Gleaning a little bit more knowledge of who her dad was. It was also interesting to see how her perspective of her father grew and changed over the course of the book; it was like watching something unfold before my eyes.

I think many people can relate to Mary Walker Clark’s family, from their early compartmentalization of feelings, their hard work ethics, and how they learned that life can pass much to quickly, leaving never enough time to feel like we truly know our family. They are so similar to the dynamics in my family and many others that I know of.

The research, emotions, and time that went into this book are amazing. I rarely find a book that makes me want to cry but Mary Walker Clark wrote with such forthrightness about her experiences that it caused me to think about how much history we are losing every day because we do not take the time to sit and listen to the people around us. I am so glad I read this book, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes WWII history. I learned so much about WWII that I did not know beforehand, and I learned the importance of writing down or passing down the history of your family.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars for the detailed WWII history, the way Mary Walker Clark drew a picture of her dad, and for the amazing journey that Mary Walker Clark took me on which involved me in every aspect of her journey.

*I volunteered to read this book in return for my honest feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Mary Walker Clark is a retired attorney turned travel writer who loves taking readers with her to worldwide destinations. She has been traveling independently and internationally for over fifty years. Her essays may be found in the Paris News, at her blog, “Mary Clark, Traveler,” and her podcasts at KETR 88.9, an NPR affiliate. Clark is an award-winning member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and a contributor to Still Me, … After All These Years, 24 Writers Reflect on Aging.

In 2016, Clark traveled to India and China to follow her father’s WWII footsteps when he was a Hump pilot flying over the Himalayas. Her journey to connect with him fifty years after his death is told in her book, Landing in My Present.

Clark is a fifth generation Texan living in Paris, Texas.

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GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

THREE WINNERS

FIRST WINNER: $25 Amazon card
SECOND WINNER: Signed copy of Landing in My Present
THIRD WINNER: $15 Amazon card.

July 21-July 31, 2020(US only)

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dear Kimmie,

    Thank you so much for your moving and important review. You really “got” it as to the ned for families to talk and explore more of their past. Judging by your age, I would say you would have many more first hand resources than I did and I hope you start asking some questions. I love that you are a traveler, too, and I hope you continue to do that and even expand into the world outside the U.S. Traveling has taught me so much.

    All the best,

    Mary Walker Clark

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Mary,
      Your welcome. Thank you for sharing your story. I do have some first hand resources; however, my dad was adopted so I don’t know the other half of my families history. But I started to write down what I do know 🙂
      I do love to travel! I have been to almost all of the fifty states in the US, and I am really hoping to travel to New Zealand or Australia next year 🙂 Traveling outside the US sounds like it will really open my eyes to new experiences.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read my review! and again thank you for sharing your story!

      Sincerely,
      Kimmie (The Travelers Wife)

      Like

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